History Book Reviews (page 936)

NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Langer applies his insightful, razor-sharp pen to others' works about an event that, he convincingly maintains, carries neither lesson nor moral but instead overpowers memory, mocks the pretensions of civilization, and leaves an absurd, irredeemable legacy."
With a highly sensitive but unsparing eye, these essays argue that new moral and linguistic categories are required in order to respond properly and honestly to the reality of the Holocaust. Read full book review >
ANNA AKHMATOVA by Roberta Reeder
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"But this very density is what will make Reeder's biography not only the starting point for all future engagements with Akhmatova's life and work but more generally a key source for scholars exploring the thorny entanglement of politics and art in 20th- century Russia. (32 pages of photos, not seen)"
By meticulously tracing renowned Russian poet Akhmatova's tortuous life, this extraordinarily detailed biography builds up a panoramic view of Soviet cultural history. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"But this is a sensible, thoughtful, and—in revealing the foibles of many key actors—an often amusing book. (16 illustrations, not seen)"
A valuable study of how British propaganda helped to bring the US into WW II, which shows too why such a study has been so slow to appear. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"The range and passion of the pieces presented here shows off another one of Dissent's strengths: Not only has it adopted a dissident stance toward mainstream American politics and culture, but it has also fostered and nurtured dissent in its own pages."
Amid the ruins of the fratricidal wars that drove much of the American left into irrelevance by the end of WW II, Dissent, a highly intelligent journal of opinion, first appeared in 1954. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"The work shows that there is much more to Native literary output than transcriptions of myths from the oral tradition."
Warrior (English and Native American Studies/Stanford; and a Kirkus contributor) compares and contrasts two of the most important American Indian writers of the 20th century on the issues of Indian sovereignty and survival. Read full book review >

THE AMERICAN WEST by Dee Brown
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Rather than this recycled material, itself seduced by the myths it seeks to expose, better to read Brown's own Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."
A pleasant but uninspired collection of vignettes about the history of the West that offers nothing new. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Costello, having done his homework and strongly made his case, is sure to provoke argument among historians and WW II buffs."
In this riveting revisionist study, British historian Costello (Ten Days to Destiny, 1991, etc.) rethinks the events leading up to the start of WW II in the Pacific. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

"Still, despite its tantalizing brevity, an elegant book."
In three essays based on lectures, Lewis provides an engaging overview of the cultural and political clash between Christian Europe and the Islamic world from the late 15th to the early 19th centuries. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 30, 1994

"Still, a rare glimpse behind the curtains of a terrorist act, instructive both for the light it sheds on a 46-year-old assassination and for the issues it raises relevant to today."
An intriguing examination of the circumstances surrounding the 1948 murder in Israel of UN mediator Count Folke Bernadotte. Read full book review >
GENTLEMAN SPY by Peter Grose
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 28, 1994

"Grose's outstanding study of a remarkable life gives readers insight into both a period of history and the development of the CIA."
A compelling biography of a man who was present at the birth of America's foreign intelligence apparatus and went on to run the CIA under presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Nov. 28, 1994

"Strictly for students and devotees of this great poäte maudit."
Another of Richardson's massively thorough, massively documented, but only minimally engaging biographies of French literary lights (Zola, 1978, etc.). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 28, 1994

"This memoir is remarkably free of polemics, self-pity, and self-aggrandizement. It is the work of a man who has led by action and example—a man who is one of the few genuine heroes we have."
In 1918, Nelson Mandela was born, the son of a tribal chief in the Xhosa nation. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >